Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Live From The Levine Broadcast Center

TigerBlog did a summer podcast with Princeton head women's lacrosse coach Chris Sailer yesterday.

Among the topics they discussed were how summer recruiting has changed, what it's like these days, how camps went, how emotional graduation was for her, what the incoming freshman class looks like, the 2019 fall schedule and the 2020 regular-season schedule. You know. The usual stuff you'd talk about on such a podcast.

They even talked about her recent vacation. Like TB, Chris does love the beach.

You can listen to it HERE.

Princeton graduated seven seniors from a team that went 16-4 and won the Ivy League championship for the sixth straight year. There was also an Ivy tournament title and two more NCAA wins before the season ended in the quarterfinals at Boston College.

The 2020 season is six months away. The start of school is not far off, which means the fall season will be beginning soon enough.

It was a good time to catch up on what's going on in the program.

TigerBlog will be back sometime in the fall with another podcast with Sailer, and then they'll be doing them weekly again during the season.

And were this any other podcast TB has ever done, that would be the end of the story and he'd be left trying to come up another 500 or so words. Ah, but this podcast was much different than any of the ones that have preceded it.

All of the other podcasts that TigerBlog has ever done were recorded in his office, at a little round table, with walls that weren't exactly built with sound quality in mind.

The one yesterday was the first one done in the brand-new H.G. Levine Broadcast Center. The only word to describe the facility is this: "cool."

It's an extraordinarily impressive place, made possible by a gift from Steven Mayer of the Class of 1981 and his wife Laura. Construction began in the spring, as an old storage closet was converted into something that looks something like a cross between a TV truck and a flight simulator.

The heaviest lifting of the Levine Broadcast Center has been done by TB's colleagues Cody Chrusciel and John Bullis, who have set up all of the the equipment and made it operational.

The center will become the home for all of Princeton's video production efforts. It'll also be tested really soon, since the month of September alone will see more than 20 productions come out of there, including the first made-for-TV effort for the Princeton-Boston University women's soccer game on Sept. 5, which will be produced here and then shown live on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

TigerBlog won't even pretend for a minute that he knows how any of the fancy set-up actually works. He does know that it's obviously impressive.

The planning is already underway as to how to maximize the usage of the facility. The studio, for instance, will be used for the "Princeton Football Friday" shows that feature head coach Bob Surace.

TigerBlog remembers the earliest days of Princeton's video efforts, with a small budget for outsourcing some original productions and with the streaming of football and basketball games that were being produced for a local cable TV outlet called C-Tec. He's not sure if he ever envisioned what would be coming with streaming and video content and how much it has revolutionized what college athletic communications is about.

Through the years, Princeton Athletics has grown considerably in what it has produced - in quantity and quality - but it's never really had the facility that makes all of that much more efficient and streamlined. Now it has that.

And, for TB, yesterday's podcast was the first time he got to use the facility for himself.

He couldn't help but be impressed. It's light-years from the little round podcasting table in his office, even if in reality it's only a few feet away.

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